Brazil's Ministry of Justice has issued an order banning Apple from selling iPhones that don't come with chargers in the country. It has also slapped the tech giant with a fine of 12.275 million Brazilian reals ($2.38 million) and has ordered the cancelation of the iPhone 12's registration with the country's national telecoms agency Anatel. Apple stopped bundling chargers with its mobile devices back in 2020 with the release of the iPhone 12, citing environmental concerns.
The company said that it was shipping devices without power adapters to reduce the manufacturing processes needed for each unit. In its 2021 Environmental Progress Report, Apple claimed the decision to stop bundling chargers will save 861,000 tons of copper, zinc and tin. Plus, the ability to ship devices more efficiently — shipping pallets were able to carry up to 70 percent more iPhone 12 boxes — would help reduce the company's carbon dioxide emissions.
Brazilian authorities didn't buy Apple's explanations and argued that the tech giant could have taken other measures to help the environment, such as adding USB-C charging support to its iPhones. Selling devices without a power adapter is a "deliberate discriminatory practice against consumers," authorities have decided.
This decision comes after the ministry wrapped up its investigation that started in December. The Brazilian state of São Paulo also previously fined Apple 10.55 million reals ($1.92 million at the time) for selling iPhones without a charger.
Apple has yet to pull its newer iPhones from its Brazilian online store, but it told Reuters that it would continue to work with authorities to "resolve their concerns." A spokesperson also told the news organization that Apple will appeal the ministry's decision. "We have already won several court rulings in Brazil on this matter and we are confident that our customers are aware of the various options for charging and connecting their devices," they said. It's worth noting that Samsung worked with São Paulo authorities to bundle Samsung Galaxy S21 pre-orders with a gift charger. Whether the tech giant will do the same for its next iPhone, which is expected to be unveiled later today, remains to be seen.